I want to share something with you. Bare with me :-)
Last Monday I did something brave, well I think it's brave. Last portrait painting class, the teacher said you could bring your artwork and the class and teacher could offer feedback and insights about the progress you made during the years.
So that's what I did, I brought my artwork with me that I made from 2005 till now. While displaying it for the group, I saw my work through their eyes and was curious and a little scared what people would say.
The timing was perfect for me, because I was in a place where I didn't know which direction I wanted to go with my artwork. Is it the portraits? Is it the mixed media collages? Is it the teaching? Is it my stories I want to publish? For some reason I had the feeling it was time for me to choose the one thing I was going for.
One said that she loved my collages and that the portrait was good, but the collages were more me. Another one said she didn't agree, and that the vibe from the portrait was so beautiful, that I had to continue doing that.
Then someone said that I should definitly make illustrations for books. The detailed and fairy tale like style shown in my sketches would be perfect for it, she said.
And someone else said: But don't stop making those collages!
It was like the discussion that I had in my head came to live in that classroom.
They all said the things I was going back and forth on. And to be honest and as silly as this may sound, I was hoping that someone would just tell me. What. To. Do.
I wanted to shout and stamp my feet and say: 'Hóooow do I become an book illustrator? Hów do I publish my stories? Hów do I know which direction to go to??'
WhenI got home and told my mom she laughed at me (in a wise and lovely way) and said:
I know it sucks right now, but this is part of your progress. You'll figure it all out in time.
Just create and make what you want to make. Make art and make your soul happy and your heart cheerful. The rest will come in time.
I mumbled that I would like to know when 'in time' was. Was that tomorrow, next week, next year?
But at the same time I knew she (and my husband and my USA mother and sister-in-law) is right and now writing this blog it hit me: I don't have to choose.
I can make collages and portraits and write stories and have my coffee. I can find ways to illustrate book, maybe even my own. I can keep discovering new techniques and have fun.
I don't have to choose. What I saw as my weakness, doing all these different things, I now see as my strong point. I cán do all these different things.
Thank you for taking the time to read all this. It makes me very happy to finally see that it was me (it always is) who thought I had to make a choice. Because now I choose not to make a choice and create whatever I want to create.
I hope you too do what you love to do.